Hand & Nail Care

manicure tips



  • Whiter Nails....use denture cleanser tablets to whiten nails. Just soak your nails for about 5 minutes or so, and they come out white and clean.
  • Yellow Nails?...Use baking soda and water and use a wash rag to rub it onto your nails for about 30 seconds per nail. It will strip all the yellow out.
  • Cuticles.. A little VO 5 rubbed in around the cuticles daily will help keep your cuticles and nails healthy..
  • To get a little more life out of your favorite nail polish color add in some clear polish.

How To Give Yourself A Manicure

Whether you prefer your nails to be long or short, they can still look stunning with a little know-how.

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Using a double-sided emery board, file nails using a gentle stroke. Avoid corners of your nails as this can weaken them.
  3. Begin to shape your nails. The most popular shape to use is oval, but choose what is most suited to your hand and finger shape.
  4. Check to see how well you have done. Run your nails over an old pair of pantyhose. Your nails should not snag the hose.
  5. Apply a softener to your cuticles.
  6. Transfer hands to a bowl of warm water and soak for a few minutes.
  7. Gently push back the cuticles. This should not be painful. If hangnails are present, carefully clip them.
  8. Apply hand lotion and begin to massage the palm of your hand with the thumb of your other hand. This will help to circulate the blood. Work your way over the remainder of the hand and then repeat giving equal time to the other hand.
  9. Before color is applied to nails, they must be cleaned and the easiest way to do this is with an orange stick that has been wrapped with cotton. Dip into nail polish remover and then rub over the surface of the nail. Check the nail for any creamy residue. When none remains, your nails will be ready for polishing.
  10. Time for color. Pick up a small amount of polish on your brush and paint one stroke down the center of your nail. Your brush should hold just enough color to accomplish this. Stroke the sides of the nail and you are done. The nail should be completely colored in three strokes. Allow to set for a minute or so before applying the second coat.
  11. Wait until polish is set (dry to the touch) and then apply the top coat. Don't skip this step as it not only adds life to your manicure, it will protect your nails as well.
  12. Sanitize all of your equipment with alcohol and when they are dry, store them away until the next manicure.


Nail polish can be stored in the fridge.
If your nail polish is too thick, try thinning with a polish thinner.
To prevent the cap from sticking, coat it with a little Vaseline to prevent this from happening.

To whiten your nails, try these:

Use a common whitening toothpaste. Try scrubbing your nails with Pearl Drops, it's just as easy as achieving a pearly white smile and will take away any stains and shine up your nails.

Soak your nails in water with lemon juice or lemon slices. The lemon acts as an astringent and will strip away stains. Once your hands are dry, you'll only need to put on a couple of coats of a clear topcoat.

Hand Care Tips and Recipes

By Brenda Hyde

iconFor those of you who are do-it-yourself fanatics like I am, our hands are always getting rough treatment. Between gardening, cleaning, painting and puttering around they get exposed to a lot. What can we do to make sure they don't look like they've through a boxing match without gloves? Gentle care is the key. Wear gloves whenever possible so your hands aren't exposed to cleaning products, dirt and paint. Now that I've said that, I'll admit this is a hard one to do 100% of the time, but do try.

iconiconHand cream is another must have for your hands. Keep it in the bathroom, the bedroom and the kitchen. Use it!
Try Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion for Sensitive Skin of all Ages Save 20% off retail Price icon

Take care of your nails too. This starts with drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet. But here are a few more tips:

NEVER cut your cuticles. Keep them from drying out by using a good hand cream and hand soaks, then push them gently back with a cuticle/orange stick. Once you do this if you notice any white residue you can gently rub the area to remove this, but no cutting.

When you do cut your nails or hang nails make sure the clippers and other tools are very sharp so they don't tear as you trim. Always trim neat and clean-not too deep. Once you get them cut, try filing weekly instead of cutting. Use the file in one direction to avoid splitting and use a good quality file. If you maintain your nails this way you may not have cut them. Use gentle hand treatments to soften your skin and your cuticles. Here are a few you can make yourself:

Rosewater Hand Massage

1 tsp. glycerin
1 tsp. lemon juice
5 drops rose water

Mix together and keep in a small bottle. Use to massage your hands for 15-30 minutes. Don't forget the cuticles!

Nail Soak

1 cup bottled water
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
10 drops lemon essential oil

Mix all together and use as a finger soak for about ten minutes on each hand.

Nail Manicure Treatment

You'll need:
1 Tbsp. distilled water, slightly warmed
1 Tbsp. witch hazel
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. alum powder

Mix above in a glass bowl. Soak nails for 10-15 minutes, occasionally massaging cuticles gently. Rinse with cool water. Use for both hands, then discard.

One Minute Manicure

Pamper your Hands!

one minute manicureicon

About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, editor, herb gardener and mother to three children. For more herb recipes and tips visit
The Garden Path

Beautiful Nails Made Easy
By Linda Buttle

Everyone wants nails to be proud of so if yours are less than perfect here are a few quick tips to get them in great condition in no time.

  1. Apply nail varnish remover before doing your nails even if donít need to remove any old polish, it prepares the nails by removing any grease so that your polish will last longer.

  2. If youíre having trouble achieving the perfect French Manicure try using a white nail pencil underneath the nail tip instead of white polish youíll find itís much easier

  3. Give your nail varnish plenty of time for each layer to dry to ensure a lasting finish.

  4. If youíre likely to get impatient waiting around opt for a quick drying formula like LancŰme Vernis Instant Magnetic or LíOreal Jet Set Always wipe the top of the nail varnish bottle with a cotton bud to get rid of any excess polish, this will prevent the bottle from becoming glued shut

  5. Lots of beauty companies have nail polishes available with matching lip color for whose seeking a totally coordinated look, ask at your local beauty counter

  6. Remember itís much better to apply lots of thin coats of color rather that one thick one, it will dry quicker and last longer

  7. Try not to remove and reapply polish more than once or twice a week, as it will dry out your nails.

  8. Choosing a remover with built in moisturizers will help limit the damage

  9. A hand massage will boost your circulation and encourage nail growth and is the perfect way to pamper yourself.

Linda Buttle is a freelance journalist specializing in beauty, health and fitness for both magazines and websites.

How To Do Your Nails Fast

 When you are in a rush, decisions have to be made. Prioritize. Do you shape or polish? Do you quick-dry or go the long, slow route? New formulas allow for snap decisions:

  1. Speed-dry enamels are worthy of their name (you can open mail, search for keys, or put on your tightest long-sleeved shirt within seconds), but there's a downside: "As fast as they dry, that's as fast they chip," insists manicurist Elisa Ferri, so save them for emergencies.

  2. Eke a few extra days out of a fast-dry manicure by doing a daily touch-up with a quick-drying coat.In the other corner, there are strong, chip-resistant formulas - the tortoise of the polish race.

  3. To pick up the pace of these tougher enamels, like L'Oreal Shock Proof, carefully submerge freshly painted nails in a bowl of ice-cold water for 30 seconds to harden still-goopy polish.

  4. Light or sheer shades are best for hasty manicures, Ferri says. "You can even get away with just a wide stripe down the center" rather than painstakingly painting the entire nail.

  5. If a manicure is beyond the repair of a topcoat or two, face facts and call in the remover.

  6. You can keep single-use packets of nail polish remover (Cutex and Get Fresh make them) on hand so you can strip away color on the run.

  7. When there is no time for polish, just clean underneath the nails, rub on a buffing cream, and shine them with a chamois buffer.

Doing Your Nails at Home

Keeping your natural nails looking excellent takes work. If you donít do the work, your nails can suffer from problems such as stains, nail biting, splitting, white marks or ridges. All of these are very serious problems which an article in the In Style magazine talks about.

Stains- this can come from different sources like wearing dark color nail polish or nicotine for starters. To remedy this, use a base coat so the dark color wonít stain your nails or letting your nails soak in denture-cleaning tablets for a few minutes.

Nail Biting -If you bite your nails, not only will you nails never grow, but they will look really bad. Some tips are to carry an emery board with you so you will have a way to fix your nails without biting them. Another way is to apply a bitter-tasting nail cream, which will remind you that if you bite them, you wont like the taste.

White Marks- this can be caused by injury or pressure to the nail matrix. The nail matrix is the area under the cuticle where the new growth happens. Unfortunately, you canít get rid of them but you can cover it up with a dark color.

Ridges- this is caused from picking and pushing at your nails. Before applying your nail polish, buff the nail surface then wipe the dust away and apply a coat of ridge filler.

Splitting- brittle nails can be caused by genetics, mishandling of your nails like over filling and buffing. To strengthen your nails, you can take biotin tablets and apply hardener.

Have the correct tools on hand and to avoid activities that may hurt your nails.

  1. Wear gloves indoors and outdoors- wear rubber gloves when doing household work and going outside especially during the winter time so you wont lose moisture.

  2. Replenish lost oil- apply lotion into your nails and cuticles after you wash your hands.

  3. Wear Polish- it works as a barrier for your nails. The polish you use should have polyester resins and use acetone-free nail polish remover.

  4. File in One Direction Only- filing back and forth is bad because this frays and weakness the nails. File your nails in one direction only for the best results.

  5. Keep your nails short

  6. Manicure after a bath. it is best to do your manicure after you take a bath because your nails are soft.

  7. Slather on moisturizer before bed- this keeps your nails stronger. The moisturizer will become more powerful if you put gloves on at night

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